School District Pulls Another Sleight of Hand Trick
BY LOUIE OVERSTREET
In the first installment of this two-part series, you were shown five primary ways in which I believe the Clark County School District has duped the public. It has avoided accountability for yearly increases in its bloated budget, while student performance shows no corresponding improvement.
Now, let me “pull your coat” on why you are going to be stuck with property taxes to pay off bonds for the next 11 years, through 2026.
First, allow me to outline the sleight of hand trick that is used to get over on unsuspecting taxpayers. The school district knows that the only time the public shows up en masse is when there are proposed boundary changes; or when schools are about to be renamed, usually after some undeserving person.
Otherwise, no one shows up to testify — as I can attest to, from what I saw in the five straight years I showed up to testify on the annual budget. Only one time did one person testify on the lack of justification on how billions of dollars were being spent.
Here’s the game that has been played on the public for years: The District uses only certain architectural firms to design all their schools. Two used for elementary, one for junior highs and one for high schools. These four firms also happen to be heavy contributors to board trustees’ campaigns.
Also, it is very costly to design schools in this manner. Since they are all cookie-cutter designs they are not capable of being modified to address varying neighborhood densities, site topography or geography differences.
A couple of months ago, as I noted earlier, instead of providing property tax relief, the District pulled another fast one on the public: it convinced the Nevada State Legislature to pass a bill that the governor signed into law — authorizing the District to reprogram over $2.5 billion left over from the $10 billion bond proposition that was passed in 1998.
The $2.5 billion could be better utilized in paying down bonded indebtedness. However, the District knows the public will not complain, so taxpayers will be stuck paying for schools that are not needed at a time when student enrollment is declining. Oh well!